—Echiejile Dropped, Fatai Eyes More Goals
By James Agberebi:
The return legs of the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League qualifiers take place on Tuesday and Wednesday with some Nigerian players expected to be in action for their respective clubs.
On Tuesday, AS Monaco's Nigerian left-back Elderson Echiejile will not be involved as they host Switzerland's Young Boys at the Stade Louise II.
He was not named in the squad for the second leg after missing the first leg last week.
Monaco look poised to make it to the play-offs thanks to their 3-1 first leg win with goals from Layvin Kurzawa, Marcelo Carrilo and Mario Pasalic.
Also on Tuesday, Midtjylland will be guests to Apoel, who defeated the Danish side 2-1 in the first leg. The trio of Paul Onuachu, David Akintola and Rilwan Hassan, were not in action for Midtjyland last week.
In Wednesday's fixtures, Scottish champions, Celtic, travel to Azerbaijan with a slim 1-0 first leg lead to take on Qarabag FK. Celtic goal was scored by new signing, Dedryk Boyata, with Efe Ambrose an unused substitute.
At the Generali Arena, Kehinde Fatai's Sparta Praha will host CSKA Moscow who are expected to parade Ahmed Musa in this crucial tie.
The first leg which ended 2-2 in Russia, saw Fatai score for Sparta Praha, while Musa who featured for CSKA, failed to find the back of the net.
Former Flying Eagles skipper, Abduljeleel Ajagun, will hope to help Panathinaikos overcome Club Brugge in Belgium after they managed a 2-1 win at home.
Ajagun who was on from the start in the first leg, was later replaced by Anastasios Lagos on 46 minutes.
While in far away Czech Republic, Nosa Igiebor's Maccabi Tel Aviv will have to over-turn a first leg deficit, to make it to the next round.
Playing in front of their home fans, Maccabi, with Igiebor in action, failed to make home advantage count, as they lost 2-1 to the visitors.